Parks, trees neglected
EDITOR: I was pleased to see that fire stations will be fully staffed as Santa Rosa's finances improve ("Fire crews at full strength," Saturday). Now I would like to urge the City Council to work on re-establishing other important services that have been cut to the bone. Parks and trees come to mind. The city has millions invested in more than 50 parks and tens of thousands of street trees. Maintenance for these have been cut by 75 percent during the Great Recession. In parks, fields, lawns, restrooms, irrigation, lighting, playgrounds, furniture, pavement and landscaping are suffering from major neglect. Many parks are kept useable only by amazing volunteers.
The street-tree situation is even worse. With only three tree maintenance specialists, only emergencies are addressed. Street-tree maintenance has been abandoned to property owners. Instances of poor and dangerous pruning and neglect are apparent everywhere. Our "Tree City" designation will soon become a hollow slogan.
Though not as noticeable as our public safety services, park and tree maintenance is critical to millions of dollars of city investments. Neglect will cost a fortune in the future, be destructive to our quality of life and our property values and have a permanent negative impact on our city.
EDITOR: Phil Arnold ("Are we too tolerant?" Letters, May 2) wrote: "Perhaps religion does provide cover for the cancerous growth of radical extremism justified by the 'will of God.' "
Arnold likes to quote leftists, so I'll stick with one he appears to follow. Bill Maher said on a recent show that there is only one religion that will kill you or want you killed if you draw a cartoon of their prophet. He also asked a leftist guest if he thought that the Quran could be satirized on Broadway the same way that the Book of Mormon is currently. I think the answer to that is obvious.
We live in a great country founded on Judeo-Christian values. These same values ended slavery, by the way. If anyone has a problem with a religion, it's best to direct concerns to that religion specifically rather than lumping all religions together. I know some "nones" who would be pretty upset if they knew they were being compared to Christians and vice versa.